‘Ruddy has plenty of good years ahead of him’ says Irvine

Date published: Monday 8th May 2017 12:19

Norwich caretaker boss Alan Irvine expects goalkeeper John Ruddy will bounce back after making his final appearance for the Canaries against QPR yesterday.

The one-cap England international, who was told his contract would not be renewed in midweek, kept a clean sheet as Norwich rounded off a disappointing season by hammering QPR 4-0 at Carrow Road.

Ruddy, who was made captain for the day, must now start looking for a new club – and Irvine expects there to be plenty of interest.

“I don’t see this as the end of John’s career by a long way – at his age he has plenty of good years ahead of him,” Irvine said of the 30-year-old.

“I should imagine he will have plenty of options and there will be plenty of calls coming in. John is a top-quality keeper and he fully deserved the great send-off he got from the supporters.

“He has been a great servant to the club – there have been highs and lows but you always get that when you have been with one club for a long time.

“(Captain) Russell Martin rung me in the week and suggested John should be captain today and I was more than happy to go along with that. I didn’t tell him until this morning so that made it a nice little surprise for him. Everyone at the club wishes him all the best.”

As for the game, he added: “It was a good way to finish, although I thought we got a little bit sloppy after we had opened the scoring. We had a word about that at half-time and the players went out and did really well after that.”

Like Ruddy, Irvine’s future is also up in the air as Norwich prepare to name a new head coach – and he is adopting a wait-and-see approach to the situation.

“The new man might want to bring in his own people, and I would fully respect that, while he also might talk to me and decide not to take me on. Also I might talk to him and decide I didn’t want to stay. Everything is up in the air at the moment but I am still contracted to this club and I will now go home and wait for a call.”

Norwich dominated the game from the start and it was surprise that they were only one goal up at the break, courtesy of Wes Hoolahan’s well-taken 22nd-minute effort.

The Canaries then gave the scoreline a more realistic look, and took their tally up to an impressive 85 by adding three more after the break through Alex Pritchard, Josh Murphy and Hoolahan again.

Rangers boss Ian Holloway admitted his side got what they deserved.

“I am not going to be critical of the lads out there today, because they tried their best, but they were nowhere near Norwich,” he said.

“We were beaten by a better side, a better club at the moment, and we have to accept that.

“We gave some of their best players far too much room and they could have scored more goals than they did.

“I am just pleased that we got the result we did last week (a 2-0 win against Nottingham Forest, to secure Championship status) because that obviously took the pressure off us.

“We just need to shrug this one off quickly and start focusing on next season because this will be a really important transfer window for us and it is vital we bring the right people in.”

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